After the extravagance of the poshest hotel in town last night (it was also the only one) I decided to be more responsible and booked into a hostel in Capbreton tonight. Unfortunately, the internet connection is not working very well so a brief update on today with no photos. They won’t upload.
I woke to pouring rain and, after a slow breakfast, reluctantly left the comfort of the hotel for the road.
Most of the route was along tarmac paths through pine forests running parallel to the coast. Very little in the way of wildlife on show today except for the constant song of nightingales, chiff chaffs and cuckoos and, of course the ubiquitous magpies. They are a bit like Belgians. You see them everywhere! Still no photo of the Hoopoe although I have seen a few now. I will be disappointed if I don’t get one before the end of the trip.
I spent an hour or so sheltering from the rain under the trees this morning but by lunchtime, taken in Leon, it was starting to brighten up.
Capbreton is apparently the only fishing port in the Landais region. The beach next to the hostel is pretty wild and is littered with the remnants of massive German war fortifications, now covered in graffiti.
The hostel is brilliant! I have a “dorm” for 4 to myself and the owner, Antoine, seems to be a mid 20’s renaissance man. Amongst other things he has spent the last 2 years rebuilding the house to make it a haven for the surfers who visit the beach just down the road as well as for travellers just passing through. For the princely sum of 30 euros (less if you don’t book through booking.com who charge their hotels/hostels/B&Bs a chunky commission,) you get the run of the place, the BBQ, the kitchen and washing facilities and the garden complete with hammocks and trendy furniture. You also get breakfast.
The only other guests are 2 Irish surfers here on an 8 day surfing binge and a French girl living here while she looks for work locally. A great find.
Tomorrow will be my last longish ride. About 60 kms to St Jean de Luz via Bayonne and Biarritz. To avoid all the future abuse, I will camp for a couple of days at St Jean before the final leg of the journey to Hendaye where I will cross the border to Irun. I understand that the weather is set fair so, with luck, I won’t need to skulk into a local hotel complaining of the damp and cold. Subject to a reasonable internet connection, I look forward to giving an update on my Bear Grylls impersonation.